The meeting was held at the Silverland Suites and GM Robert Steiner said that the hotel is closed for the winter and that the property has eliminated “pet rooms” since the damage has been too great.
The Outhouse Races final budget was reviewed and it came in at a loss of $3200 versus the planned loss of $850. The increase was due to a reordering of sweatshirts which then didn’t sell and an increase in marketing expenses. This is one of those events that we don’t expect to make money on but that is a VC signature event and brings people into town. There was discussion about striving to make it a break-even event and take actions to eliminate the loss for next year. Since it already has a following and those folks probably follow social media why are we spending marketing dollars? Additionally, so what if we run out of t-shirts or sweatshirts? Better to run out than have left over inventory and have a loss. Anyway, there was agreement that we need to cut the loss for next year and that this isn’t a money maker.
Christmas on the Comstock was discussed and it was a success. There were 25 parade entries this year as compared to 10 last year. Edith Palmer’s won the parade entry competition. The Holiday lighting competition was also successful. The Tap House won 1st place with Barrels of Candy and Finders Keepers coming in second and third. The town looks beautiful!
The conversation then shifted to the bar crawl. Apparently this particular crawl had the lowest participation of all the prior crawls. There was also some criticism about the behavior of the participants by our other visitors. So either the children need to get used to drunken rowdy people lurching from bar to bar or we do something different.
We discussed having the crawls on non-parade days. Parade days are typically family events and mixing the crawl with a family event might not be the best thing to do. Another thought was not to have it at Christmas which by definition is a family event. It was noted by board member Pam Abercrombie that both the Senior Center and St. Mary’s had crafts fairs on that day and that maybe we could promote those types of events during the holiday season along with the parade. Perhaps get Pipers to reschedule their gingerbread event and get the other organizations in town to do a small fundraiser and have a “Crafts crawl” for the week-end of the parade. Anyway…some good ideas…..hope something changes.
Going forward if the zip code bill passes Congress and with the three new hotels going in at TRI these revenues should spike by 2018. County Comptroller Hugh Gallagher had talked about doing some revenue modeling based on these expected increases which I hope to see at the January meeting’s financial review. I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT THE MERCHANTS ATTEND THE JANUARY MEETING BECAUSE IT IS A FINANCIAL REVIEW!
Recall that Hugh had been proposing an additional fee be imposed on merchants to support VCTC spending then recently said there were no plans to do that in the short run and that he would need to do some revenue modeling to see what if any fee should be imposed. Well…..we’re waiting Hugh.
Next up was the Marketing Update…blah, blah. There was some discussion about making sure that the VC promotional collateral be included in EDAWNS business recruitment packets as well as making sure that the corporate relocation departments of the companies out at TRI have it in THEIR packets for relocating employees. Board chair Scott Jolcover also added that there are many temporary workers out at TRI and that the temporary lodging places should also have our materials.
Well…..another year of fun and frivolity has gone by….I wish each of you the best of Holidays and a wonderful New Year!